Published Apr 22, 2013The past couple of years in the professional life of Lianne La Havas have proven quite an exciting journey, beginning with a handful of attention-snatching videos and live recordings and eventually leading to opening duties for Bon Iver and the iTunes UK Album of the Year award for her debut disc, Is Your Love Big Enough? Now, with the end of her current tour and a well-deserved break just a few short weeks away, La Havas is already focusing her thoughts and creative energies on her next project.
As La Havas tells Exclaim!, fans can expect a slight shift in her coming recordings, to a sound she's hinted at in a couple of remixes that have trickled out over the past year from producer Two Inch Punch.
"He's a good friend of mine," she offers enthusiastically, "and I'm going to be working with him one-on-one, which I'm very excited about. I've been meaning to do some music with him — I just think he's so talented, and his vision and his sonic opinion is something that I'm really interested in fusing with my own. I'm just looking to make sounds that I haven't heard before."
That idea of fusing elements from a number of relatively traditional forms into something that, while not necessarily foreign, is difficult to track down to any one clear influence is central to La Havas' unique sound and style, and as she explains, is a philosophy that guides her creative hand.
"I tend not to like specifics, you know. I like it when you hear something and you can't trace it back to what it sounds like, 'cause then it's not pure. I like the idea of creating a genre, almost."
After all, she asks, "Who says that you can't just amalgamate everything you like into one piece of music, just to make it sound like a new thing you haven't heard before?"
Her exceptional artistry has earned La Havas the praise of a sizable international audience, including a few notable artists many would consider royalty.
"I've had a kind of surreal year with meeting my idols," she begins before recounting the story of surprise phone call from Prince. "Even before the album came out, [he] had my EP, and he called me and just said that he liked it, basically."
Through smiling modesty, she continues, "We talked about music and whatnot, and he's really into new music — he seems to be championing people like Esperanza Spalding and Janelle Monáe, and for him to be a fan of my music as well is amazing."
There are no solid plans for La Havas' next album yet, and still has some more tour dates planned for later this year (see the schedule here). But read about her recent Toronto stop here.